Enjoying The Hospitality

“Why don’t you come have dinner at my house?” I’ve heard that invitation over and over since arriving here this weekend. I try to convince my friends and relatives to eat out but they won’t hear of it. “You must really be American now if you insist on eating out so much. Besides, you have to taste my (insert name of favorite dish).” And so I’ve been gorging myself on couscous, pastilla, rghaif, mechouis, escargot, all sorts of fish, and drinking glass after glass of mint tea. When we do go out to the beach or downtown for the day, they won’t let me buy the food no matter how much I protest.
Over the meals, people talk about Hicham El Guerrouj’s incredible performance at the Olympics, about the upcoming census, and about Iraq and the U.S. elections. I can honestly say that the only time I’ve heard such ardent Bush-bashing was back home, in Portland.